Degree Year

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Comparative Literature

Advisor(s)

Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón

Keywords

Speculation, Posthumanism, Futurism, Sound, Anticapitalism, Anticolonialism, Queer theory, Radical black theory, Queer time

Abstract

Speculation is a futurist practice of looking outwards in which the subject turns to other realities in the face of a crushing here-and-now. It is from this premise, which draws from Jose Esteban Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia (2009) and Fred Moten’s In the Break (2003), that I set out to understand how experiential, literary, and artistic speculation acts as a rejection of the capitalist and colonial structures of this world. Through a conversation with the aforementioned theorists, as well as other queer, posthumanist, and radical black thinkers, this project will analyze three different instances of speculation. First, a queer nightclub in New York which enacts a glitch between temporalities; next, a Dominican sci fi novel by Rita Indiana that shows how remixing queers time and narrative structure; and finally, a video art piece where artist Mickalene Thomas subverts the imperial male gaze, cutting into normative power and creating a break from which speculation can arise. Although these artistic forms of speculation by no means exhaust speculative potential, they sound out expressions of radical imagining that effectively draw the contours around this practice. I argue that the act of speculating towards other worlds by subjects historically excluded from the category of the Human is a radical refusal of the established order, and an embrace of the spaces between so as to find happiness and self-determination.

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